Thursday, January 19, 2017

...On "Dialogue-Only" Fiction

One of the first ebooks I ever attempted to write, titled "The Hand She Dealt to Me", actually ended up to be a work of fiction written totally in "dialogue-only" style. I didn't realize the direction I was going in until I was half way or better, towards completion of the novel. That's when I stopped and questioned myself as to what the heck I was doing. With all the work and effort that I had already invested in this work of fiction, I decided to ride it out and continue on this path until I reached the end of my story. To my amazement, I was fully engrossed in the characters, the storyline, the twists and turns to the plot, the climax, etc...etc...and surprised myself when I went back and read/proofread the entire novel. I actually felt a sense of accomplishment after using this style of writing.

However, since it was a style I was not familiar with, both as a reader and a writer, I decided to research the style to see if other authors attempted this. To my surprise, I found some information out there which helped me come to terms with the fact that I had chosen a unique writing style and was setting myself up for some serious criticism. (Below is a bit of information on the subject, written by a gentleman named ALEXANDER KALAMAROFF, which I came across while searching the internet):


The dialogue novel is a unique creature. In it the conversations among characters are the primary or only means of narrative advancement—so the initial experience might be similar to reading a play or movie script, where we’re tasked to mentally dramatize what we’re reading. But the dialogue novel is intriguing because it is not meant for stage or screen. And compared to its compatriot, the monologue novel—which has a substantial history shaped by Dostoevsky, Nabokov, and W.G. Sebald, to name only three masters of that form—the dialogue novel is quite rare. While they can be challenging to read, dialogue-dominated narratives create amazing opportunities for philosophical inquiry, stylistic originality, and stunning creativity that are surely worth exploring.
So, in  my opinion, readers either love the style or hate it. Some of my critics felt confused in keeping up with the dialogue, the characters, and who was speaking at the time. Others enjoyed it thoroughly, according to verbal and written reviews. I made it a point to use the characters' names quite frequently in order to identify the speakers for the readers to follow easily. I also made an effort to use separate paragraphs for each speaker. It seemed to flow smoothly for me.  However, I was the creator of this work of fiction. I owned it, I controlled it, I brought it to life. Of course it would run smoothly for me as I read it. So knowing that this work of fiction could somehow prove to be challenging to a reader, it's out there living amongst the many books on the Amazon market, waiting to be purchased by someone who wants to be challenged. Yes, it reads like a play, but feels like a movie. You may find yourself in the middle of the action, with a sudden urge to reach out to the characters. You will want to touch them, talk with them, laugh with them, cry with them, accompany them on their journeys, eat with them, drink with them, and whatever else tickles your fancy. 

You may be pleasantly surprised by this writing style, while enjoying a wonderful story, with twists and turns that may place you so deep into the story that the only way out is to remain there until the very end. Ha! If interested in this experience, feel free to check it out on Amazon (it's just a click away):

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